Nathan Adrian Gives Heartfelt Analysis of 100 Free Semi Final


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • World Record: 46.91 — Cesar Cielo (BRA), 2009
  • American Record: 46.96 — Caeleb Dressel, 2019
  • U.S. Open Record: 47.39 — Ryan Held (USA), 2019
  • World Junior Record: 47.57 — Andrei Minakov (RUS), 2020
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Kyle Chalmers (AUS) — 47.58
  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion: Nathan Adrian — 47.72
  • Wave I Cut: 50.49
  • Wave II Cut: 49.74
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 48.57
  1. Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 47.77
  2. Zach Apple (MVN), 47.78
  3. Blake Pieroni (SAND), 48.13
  4. Ryan Held (NYAC), 48.34
  5. Brooks Curry (LSU), 48.51
  6. Bowe Becker (SAND) / Coleman Stewart (WOLF), 48.62
  7. Brett Pinfold (SHAC), 48.73

Caeleb Dressel and Zach Apple took charge of the men’s 100 freestyle semi-finals from the second heat, duking it out stroke-for-stroke down the final few meters before Dressel got his hand on the wall first in a time of 47.77.

Apple took second in 47.78, making them the first two Americans to dip under the 48-second barrier in the 2020-21 season. They now rank fifth and sixth in the world, respectively.

Apple was also less than a tenth off his personal best time of 47.69, and was far and away the best closer in the field, coming back in a blazing 24.53.

Ryan Held, who paced the prelims this morning in 48.07, touched third in that heat in 48.34, advancing fourth into the final.

Blake Pieroni, fourth in this event at the 2019 World Championships, easily topped the first semi in 48.13, dipping .01 under his season-best set in the prelims.

Brooks CurryBowe BeckerColeman Stewart and Brett Pinfold round out tomorrow’s finalists—four names without much major international experience.

Most notably missing the final was three-time Olympian Nathan Adrian, who finished 13th overall in 48.92 after going 48.37 in the heats.

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3 months ago

This hurt me more than anything has since the pandemic and more than anything in the immediate future will.

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
3 months ago

It seems Nathan is taking it a lot better. I never thought that he would be top two there was no chance with the quality of this field but I thought he would be 5th or 6th and make the relay. But I definitely didn’t expect he would be 13th our 16th in the semis. He is 32 after all and this is a young man’s sport. He did accomplish so much including several relay gold medals in the worlds and Olympics and most of all that 100 meter gold in London.

Reply to  Comet
3 months ago

totally agree , both Grevers and Nathan took this with a lot of positive perspective & have families they love
to manage that ” defeat ” . Class acts all the way & loving personalities .

Rick Fee
Reply to  Comet
3 months ago

Nathan you are simply class act! Bravo!

Last edited 3 months ago by Rick Fee
3 months ago

It really hurts me so much because I don’t get to see Nathan Adrian compete at the Tokyo Olympics in the 100 free or in a relay.

3 months ago

Such a class act. Love this guy

3 months ago

Wanted to hate this guy for what he did to Magnussen, but yes agree with comments so far, class act both in & out of water.
A champion in every sense.

3 months ago

Adrian, Grevers and Margalis are all handling themselves amazingly well. I hope Adrian can find a way to get through in 50fr, but if not this is quite a changing of the guard in US swimming

Last edited 3 months ago by MTK
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago


3 months ago

Feel like the “older” guys were thrown off quite a bit by the Olympic Year, year long delay. Their tapers completely destroyed. Josh prenot, Zane Grothe, Tom Shields, Cody Miller all missed out or in contention. Younger lads can adapt and overcome faster. I am not sad like some have commented, it’s great. Swimming is fast and competitive. Keep up, epecially with some of the UK and Australian teams! Excited to see what these young men will do in the waters of Japan!

Reply to  dded
3 months ago

I agree 2020 trials would have looked different. More of the old guard wound have hung on I think.

3 months ago

USRPT seems more ideal for guys like grevers and adrian

Reply to  Sqimgod
3 months ago

They’d get too heavy and bulky… believe me, I’ve tried.
It works for MA because he’s been doing it since the beginning, barely lift weights and eats basically keto.

Last edited 3 months ago by Olympian
Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Olympian
3 months ago

That makes absolutely zero physiological sense. Josh Davis did it in his late 30’s and thrived on it. You only get heavy and bulky if you can’t control your mouth around food. What were your macros and calorie intake, oh Olympian? That’s what I thought.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 months ago

Josh Davis also has an incredible base to work from his time at swimming at Texas. The comparison to him doesn’t work with MA.

The Original Tim
Reply to  Olympian
3 months ago

I’m the same age as Grevers and have done months-long stretches of USRPT… I’ve never had any issues getting heavy or bulky as a result.

Reply to  The Original Tim
3 months ago

great point from experience

Reply to  The Original Tim
3 months ago

It’s not getting too bulky from USPRT, it’s that they already are very heavily muscled. USRPT requires very high intensity every session. Some folks can’t handle that and especially not a late career change to it.

Reply to  Coach
3 months ago

IMHumbleO.. USPRT is great for late in the career swimmers. The rest is such that it is more aerobic then some realize. Training a 48yr old Masters swimmer with it, I can tell you it truly helped him. Less broken down, better more consistent practices. He was beating his times from when he was 42 with USRPT at 48. Did a 2IM/1BK/50FR triple at sectionals against teenagers, was a iffy turn & breakout away from going 21 on the end of it all after breaking a age group record in the IM and 6 year best in the BK.

IU Kicker
Reply to  Sqimgod
3 months ago

My kid’s team does USRPT and race pace training. They have great swimmers from 10&U through the seniors. The really cool thing is that the girls continue to drop time well into their late teens. There isn’t the usual 15-16 y/o plateau that is so frustrating to many female swimmers. Our athletes do dryland and weights. They are certainly fit but are not bulky.

3 months ago

Such a class act. Adrian, Grevers, and Manuel are all great examples of sportsmanship for kids to look up to.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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